Paul Kennedy's international bestseller is a sweeping account of five hundred years of fluctuating economic muscle and military might among the great powers of the world. Kennedy begins with Europe's dramatic return to the forefront of world domination at the expense of China and the Muslim world and brings us up to modern times, with both on the brink of remarkable recovery. Along the way he explores world wars and civil wars, destructive ideologies, the paranoia of superpowers and the inherent problems of a united Europe. He persuasively demonstrates the interdependence of economic and military power, showing how imbalance between the two has historically led to spectacular political disaster. Erudite and brilliantly original, 'The Rise and Fall of Great Powers' is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the politics of power.
`A brilliantly original book...It is intended for the intelligent layman as well as the academic historian, combining in Toynbee-esque manner the sweeping conception with careful attention to historical detail.' Financial Times `This book is falling out of briefcases all over Washington DC, both because it looks and sounds erudite and because it purports to answer an increasingly common question: Has the United States already embarked on its journey into the sunset of empire? It is administering a lot of frissons to trend-watchers.' Christopher Hitchens, Guardian `Outstanding...He ranges across five centuries and around the whole world. He seems to have read every relevant book in every possible language. And he has produced a general argument so deceptively simple that no politician, however busy, should ignore or misunderstand it.' Observer `One of the masterpieces of modern historical writing.' Daily Telegraph `A masterpiece of exposition. It is erudite and elegantly written.' New Society `A remarkable book...long, clever, often funny, and crammed with remarkable insights; it is tinged with the genius that unravels complexity.' Evening Standard `Shows a master historian's ability to use evidence like a boxing champion's uppercut.' TES `One of those rare (and irresistible) books which successfully combine the scope and sweep of "popular" history with the discriminating rigour of professional historiography, making it both a bloody good read and a thought-provoking one.' Listener
Paul Kennedy studied at the universities of Newcastle and Oxford and is now professor of history at Yale. His other books include 'The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery' and 'Preparing for the Twenty-first Century'.